Featured Artist: Ryan S. Brown!

Sacred Groves Study by Ryan Brown

Sacred Groves Study by Ryan Brown  - 9 x 12″  Oil  -  Collection of the Artist

Ryan has done several of these studies, the fabulous greens, the woods, I am so drawn to these paintings. They are stunning! Isn’t there something so magical about this painting? It pulls me right in. Wow!

I thought this was amazing as well:

The Lord's Prayer by Ryan Brown  -  24 x 32 Oil

The Lord’s Prayer by Ryan Brown – 24 x 32 Oil

What a talented guy! He’s truly got so many wonderful paintings it was difficult to choose!

Read a blip about the artist from his website:

Ryan S. Brown was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.  By the time he was a senior in high school Ryan had decided to pursue art as a profession.  This pursuit led him to Brigham Young University where he studied Illustration, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002.  While finishing his studies at BYU, Ryan became aware of the deficiencies in his University education.  Because his interests were in the academic and naturalist traditions of the nineteenth century, it became necessary for him to get the foundational drawing and painting training not offered at the university.  In his senior year at BYU, Ryan began studying with William Whitaker, a renowned portrait and figurative painter.  Soon after this, Ryan entered the Florence Academy of Art, where he received his first taste of Academic training.  The organized, intense and concise training of the Florence Academy provided Ryan with what he considers the beginning of his understanding of the craft of art.  This training not only gave Ryan a deep understanding and love of drawing, but also developed in him a strong self-discipline and work ethic, as well as an insatiable appetite for learning.

In 2003 Ryan returned home to Utah.  Upon his return, Ryan began producing work for galleries.  Ryan also began teaching academic principles at BYU, teaching figure drawing, observational and spatial drawing and cast drawing.  Ryan also opened his studio to students, establishing the Classical Drawing Academy in Springville, Utah.  During the three years this Academy was available to students, Ryan saw more than 80 students come through his studio to experience this training.  Ryan also taught part-time at Utah Valley State College.  Ryan was able to teach and pass on these academic principles until the end of 2006.  Ryan also taught at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art sporadically between 2004 and 2006, culminating in an academic drawing workshop given in 2006.  An article in American Artist Workshop Magazine in the Winter 2006 issue covered this workshop. In January, 2007 Ryan, his wife and three kids moved back to Florence in order to finish his studies at the Florence Academy of Art.
Ryan is living and working again in Utah and has established the Center for Academic Study and Naturalist Painting (CAS).  He is currently interviewing potential students and welcomes any application for study.

Ryan was the top award winner of the John F. and Anna Lee Stacey scholarship in 2004.  He also received third place in the Art Renewal Scholarship competition in 2005.  In 2006 Ryan was one of ten artists to be invited by American Artist Magazine to the Forbes Trinchera Ranch for a nine day retreat that was followed by a special article in the magazine and a showing of these select artist’s works at the Forbes Gallery in New York in March, 2007.  Ryan was also accepted into the Hudson River School for Landscape in its inaugural year, which he attended in the summer of 2007.  In 2007 Ryan also won Fourth Place in the Art Renewal Center Scholarship Competition.  Ryan was featured in the May, 2008 issue of Southwest Art as “A Rising Artist to Watch”.  Ryan won the “Best Painting of the Year” at the Florence Academy of Art in 2008.

All images via RyanSBrownArt.com used with permission from the artist…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

House Plan: Snead’s Ferry by Allison Ramsey Architects

Sneads Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects

Snead’s Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects

Allison Ramsey Architects – always doing something that makes great sense. Snead’s Ferry (C0574) is a house you can grow in to, or not if you choose not to. This plan is 2623 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms that also leaves room for a future second floor with 844 additional square feet. Pretty cool, eh? Are you trying to think of a scenario where you might need additional space (like a spare living room?), say your children are now teenagers and want their own space for watching TV/playing video games, etc. (or more likely YOU would like your space!), tada, that spare living room comes in handy. Or say one of you loves sports and the other doesn’t… two living rooms are essential, ha ha…

Sneads Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects - Main Floor

Snead’s Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects – Main Floor

This plan is quite amazing. I like that the living room isn’t right on the front of the house, it’s set back aways, more private and cozy. The open kitchen, living, dining space works nicely. If you have the spare rooms for guests, it’s nice that they’re tucked away on the other side of the house, so they have their privacy. A great screened porch off the living room is the icing on the cake. I love, love, love when I can open windows and let the fresh air in, woohoo!

Snead's Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects - Future Upstairs (844 square feet)

Snead’s Ferry C0574 by Allison Ramsey Architects – Future Upstairs (844 square feet)

The future living room/bathroom… Smart thinking!

To see actual images of this home as it was built, click here… I love how Allison Ramsey does that, it really helps to visualize when you can see an actual house built.

ALL IMAGES VIA AllisonRamseyArchitects.com - used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Charles Newman!

The Red Door on 21st Street Oil on Panel 16x24"

The Red Door on 21st Street by Charles Newman
Oil on Panel 16×24″

Character. Charles Newman paints his subjects with character. There is something defintely unique about his paintings and I LOVE them! The color and light are amazing, but this painting oozes character!

Home by Charles Newman Oil on Linen 24x36" - SOLD

Home by Charles Newman
Oil on Linen 24×36″ – SOLD

He’s got some interior paintings, which area always a favorite, this is wonderful. I’m telling you, check out this guys work, its different… in a very, very good way!

Read a blip about Charles from his website:

The process of making a painting is more than just the painting itself. For me, it’s a journey, discovery, experience and sensation. My work hints at the sweetness and rigor of daily life. From the overlooked industrial settings to the privacy of the home I am always conscious of the effect of light on different surfaces and through various filters. Light is established through the reaction of a color next to another color. To achieve the fresh and harmonious representation of light, many of my works are done alla prima. Whether painting en plein air, an interior, or a still life, I strive to discover the integrity of my personal touch, as I bear witness to the moment and the changing conditions of my surroundings. Translating these elements onto the surface makes the painting process challenging, but also exciting.

All images via CharlesNewmanArts.com, used with permission…

Catch you back here tomorrow!


Hot tip: Easiest Way to Cut Grape Tomatoes Quickly!


I saw a video on this… and had long since forgotten about it. The other day I was making a fabulous cold med pasta salad, and the pasta was almost done, I had 3 minutes to wash and cut a package of grape tomatoes in half. Then I remembered “the trick”, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I thought I would give it a whirl, because in this recipe the hot pasta sits on top of the cool tomatoes which softens them a bit and makes them really nice. I made it with time to spare!

The trick… A SERRATED KNIFE and two lids to plastic containers. I wouldn’t even attempt this with a regular knife, none of mine would be even close to being sharp enough!

Step one:



I could have done it even quicker if I would have used a larger lid, but in my haste, I found two this size, so it worked great!

Set the lid down on the counter, RIM SIDE UP. Fit as many tomatoes as possible, all in one layer.

Step Two:


Now put the other lid on top of the tomatoes, RIM SIDE DOWN so it holds them all in nice and cozy…


Now use your serrated knife, and while holding your hand flat and lightly pressing down on the tomatoes slice back and forth until the knife gets through all the tomatoes, this step takes no time at all! Good grief, who’s meaty hand is that??? Eeek.



Tada! Repeat as many times as you need to! Woohoo! I remembered this FINALLY, and I certainly won’t forget it!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Featured Artist: Tom Balderas!

Study for Child and Mother with Red Towel 24x18, oil on paper

Study for Child and Mother with Red Towel
24×18, oil on paper

Tom Balderas. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I have admired this artist for years. His paintings come alive. I’ve seen them in person and they are WOW on every level. I have featured Tom in the past, his work is so incredible, and though I’ve never actually met him, I feel as if he is one of the most creative people I have (almost) met…  Just read his bio… He is one I have not forgotten, I have featured so many artists over the past three years, and Tom is one that I haven’t forgotten. The bio alone will make you remember.

Well, now he’s gone and done something that I think all artists should do… He is selling his studies. Brilliant! Ok, maybe I am overusing that word, but it really is such a smart thing to do. Instead of having them sit around collecting dust, Tom is now selling them… I believe he has been encouraged by his friends to do this… why not?!!

As many of you know I work, part time, at a gallery here in Charleston. One of our artists sells her studies, Dee Beard Dean. They are fabulous and a definite hit among people perusing the galleries in Charleston! I always thought that was so smart of her. It’s a great way for people to get original art at not the regular price tag… it gives everyone a place to start.

Tom’s blog address: TomBalderasFineArt.blogspot.com

Check out Tom’s studies! SHOP STUDIES  as well as his regular paintings SHOP PAINTINGS 

All of the paintings are wonderful! Now is your chance… and FREE SHIPPING (with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii)…

Read the famous bio from Tom’s blog:

Third son of four. painter. writer. musician. photographer. thinker. creator. listener. observer. human. social. loner. understanding. misunderstanding. giver. taker. wanter. perfectionist. imperfect. mess. father. Found himself dwelling upon an emotional and artistic precipice since birth.

Growing up in Torrance, California, Tom Balderas lived only a few miles from the ocean, which has made nature, along with his family, the main inspiration of his paintings. Balderas attended Loyola Marymount University, where he studied film production and art. After graduating, he worked several years for NBC Productions and made many made-for-television movies. He then began studying under the tutelage of his photographer father, as well as Joseph Mendez, master painter and teacher. Balderas considers the time spent studying with Mendez to be the cornerstone of his growth as a painter.

Also, studied with charles, anne, jennifer, daniel, sophia, lynne, joseph, harold, zen, elliott, starbuck, dan, andrew, dr. block, zinaida, david, e. charlton, michael, rose, ken, walter, selden, chris, armin, joaquin, edward, bejar, valentin, george, edward, jesus, pierre, rachel, mort, marileigh to name but a few of so many.

Works towards progress. 

Told ya! Creative, eh? Catch you back here tomorrow!

Farmer’s Market reminder!


A good idea for Meatless Monday!

A good idea for Meatless Monday!

Yum… Farmer’s Market Reminder today!! A lot of towns have a local farmer’s market one day during the week, this is your reminder not to forget about it! It’s your best source for the tastiest fruits and veggies! The Farmer’s Market in Charleston, SC is TODAY… so don’t forget!

There is nothing like fresh veggies that are local and are their peak of freshness! This was a fabulous dinner, peas (not sure which type these were), brown rice, sliced tomato, fresh radishes and corn on the cob. Ahhh, life is good! I used to cook the peas with a slice of bacon… now since it gets so much negative press, I just sauté onion in olive oil add the peas, add water, S&P and let them cook… I can’t even tell there is no bacon!

Enjoy your weekend – Catch you back here tomorrow!